The International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, hails UK and Nigeria co-operation and announces UK aid support to help rural communities become self-sufficient.
Ms Mordaunt has praised the close partnership between the UK and Nigeria, which is helping the West African country lay the foundations on which to build a sustainable future.
During her first visit to Nigeria as International Development Secretary, Ms Mordaunt visited rural communities in Kaduna in the north of the country.
She announced extended support to the Propcom Mai-karfi scheme which, with UK aid funding, will support the livelihoods of farmers in some of the poorest parts of rural Nigeria.
By utilising simple and effective innovations, such as developing a private sector tractor hire service model providing over 53,000 farmers with access to tractors, the programme will open up markets for vulnerable communities and ensure stability and economic recovery in the north east.
Since 2012, DFID’s Propcom Mai-karfi programme has successfully generated over £27.3 million of additional income for the programme’s 676,316 beneficiaries including 150,561 women.
Ms Mordaunt also witnessed the impact UK tax-collecting expertise is making in Northern Nigeria. Thanks to a robust and efficient UK-supported tax collection system, Kaduna now has more money to spend on public services including hospitals and schools.
In a symbolic moment, Ms Mordaunt provided the final ever UK aid package of medical supplies to one of the region’s health centres. The state will now take over the running of the health clinic, paid for with taxes generated in Kaduna.
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:
The UK has a key role to play in ensuring Nigeria, one of the fastest growing countries in the world, has a bright, stable and prosperous future.
We are working to help Nigeria invest in its people and create more jobs, giving it a future beyond aid. British expertise in tax collection is ensuring Nigeria can build better schools and health centres.
Nigeria is our trading partner. Together we are working towards a mutually prosperous future, which is firmly in Nigeria’s, but also the UK’s national interest.
The Secretary of State saw how UK aid is driving a step-change in the relationship between the people of Kaduna, their Government, and the role of taxes in funding everyday services, which can improve lives in a practical way.
During her visit the International Development Secretary visited a health centre and school:
The Badarawa Primary Healthcare Centre in Kaduna. Here the Secretary of State completed the formal handover of the final consignment of UK aid funded medicine and equipment to Kaduna. While at the clinic, the Minister witnessed UK aid’s contribution to the Government of Kaduna’s investment in primary health systems, which is giving women and children under five better access to essential health services.
LGEA Primary School. The school is supported by UK aid’s Teacher Development Programme (TDP). The school has benefitted from UK aid through DFID’s Teacher Development Programme which supports teacher training in English, Maths and Science. The programme supports teachers by providing print and audio visual materials on low cost mobile devices. TDP has also supported Kaduna to improve the quality of initial teacher training provided in Colleges of Education in the state.
In Abuja, the Secretary of State also:
- attended a roundtable discussion with the British High Commission and representatives from disability charities to discuss disability in Nigeria and Nigeria’s commitment to the Global Disability Summit next week, co-hosted by DFID in the UK on Tuesday, July 24;
- met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to further strengthen UK Nigeria relations and sought commitments from the Vice President on using Nigerian resources effectively to reduce poverty, and on resolving the humanitarian crisis in the North East;
- met with staff from the British High Commission, and thanked them for their support and hard work.
Notes to editors
Propcom Mai-karfi is DFID’s rural markets and livelihoods programme that has been working to address the challenges of access to market for smallholder farmers in Northern Nigeria.
The extension to Propcom Mai-karfi (PM) will supply an additional £24 million made available over three additional years. This extension covers three broad areas.
- Expand the programme into conflict affected states in the north east to work towards sustained stability and economic recovery that improves livelihoods of the rural poor.
- Increase resilience of the rural poor to climate change by growing a portfolio of Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) interventions including using solar-powered driers to preserve vulnerable crops such as tomato and peppers.
- Improve access to rural and agricultural markets of Northern Nigeria for the poorest and most vulnerable including 162,500 women.
The programme extension will increase the resilience of 487,500 rural entrepreneurs and smallholder farmers in northern Nigeria, over 250,000 of which will now be based in the north east.